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The Tao of psychology: Synchronicity and the self Hardcover – 1 Jan 1979
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"Scholarly.fascinating." -- Omni
Scholarly fascinating. --Omni
"[W]ise and challenging...an absorbing, often uncannily perceptive, and useful companion for the soul journeys of our time...."----Alice Walker, author of The Color Purple on Crossing to Avalon
"Successfully presented, with the freshness of a personal response...interesting and very instructive...."----The Journal of Analytical Psychology
"[Bolen] charts a path that will lead many readers to the heart of their own emotional and spiritual pilgrimages."----San Francisco Chronicle on Crossing to Avalon
Scholarly fascinating. --Omni"
Successfully presented, with the freshness of a personal response interesting and very instructive . ----The Journal of Analytical Psychology"
[Bolen] charts a path that will lead many readers to the heart of their own emotional and spiritual pilgrimages. ----San Francisco Chronicle on Crossing to Avalon"
[W]ise and challenging...an absorbing, often uncannily perceptive, and useful companion for the soul journeys of our time.... ----Alice Walker, author of The Color Purple on Crossing to Avalon" --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
About the Author
Jean Shinoda Bolen, MD, is a psychiatrist, a Jungian analyst, and an internationally known author and speaker. Her books include Goddesses in Everywoman, Gods in Everyman, and many others. She is a distinguished life fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and was a clinical professor of psychiatry at the University of California at San Francisco. She lives in Marin County, California.--This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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The important thing is that synchronicity occurs outside of time and space. It is experienced in a temporal context, but that's not how it got there. It appears out of nowhere and no time. And, it communicates. This is marvelous. Synchronicity is a kind of language and, in my own experience, is the way that those who have left this reality communicate with those of us still here. By this time, shouldn't we know more about how this works, in other words, how to speak the language ourselves? So far, we know that belief in synchronicity makes it more likely to occur, and an emotional component helps to initiate it, but beyond that, synchronicity is left to chance, which itself doesn't exist. This is an irresistible paradox.
Bolen's book, like many others, abounds with tales of synchronistic events, which never fail to fascinate. It was the occasion of a synchronicity for me when Bolen's account of a patient suffering from deep depression decided to cast the I Ching and discovered hexagram 5, Waiting. My wife passed more than a year ago and since then I have annoyed her with constant complaints about having to wait before I can join her. Hexagram 5 spoke to me at the appropriate moment. Not only that, but Bolen's first name is Jean, the same as my wife's. There were other parallels.
Bolen is a Jungian analyst, which makes her especially qualified to write about synchronicity because it was Jung himself who coined the term. She contends that the space between people and things must contain a connecting link or be a transmission medium. Jung called it the collective unconscious and argued that an archetype must be in play in order to create a synchronicity. Maybe so. For me, the question is still an open one. The medium could be the Zero-Point Field or, in metaphysical terms, the Akashic Record. Anyway, synchronicity suggests that everything in the universe is interconnected, so potential communication between dimensions is a given.
Bolen links synchronicity to the existence of the Chinese Tao out of which everything is manifested. The Tao itself is meaning. This compliments quantum physicist J. A. Wheeler's contention that everything is made up of information. Knowing that, we could realize that every moment of our existence is one big synchronicity, and that we frequently get peeks at it in operation when we make meaningful connections between ourselves and external things and events.
Anyway, Bolen's book is a stimulating read and manifestly something more than a collection of Believe-It-or-Not experiences. Maybe this review will itself lead to a synchronicity for me. Stranger things have happened.